Asymmetric model by Slywotzky is not just a source of benefit, but a vital necessity 

24 Dec 2020

“When life returns to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of people will make a terrific mistake — they will retain the same behavior they had before the crisis and the quarantine. I ask you not to make this mistake, but to use the pandemic to build both mental model and thought pattern, which will give you an opportunity to survive now and have a competitive advantage after the pandemic,” said Adrian Slywotzky, one of the most prominent business thinkers in the world, during his final online lecture. This is how the third intake of his original online course “David Wins: The Power of Asymmetric Thinking” has finished. 

There were 377 participants, around 65 % of whom were the teams. Three intakes of the online course launched by LvBS and its strategic partner Prometheus platform gathered more than 1000 participants. We would like to share some notes from Adrian Slywotzky’s lecture.

“25 years ago those, who had the biggest share of the market, won in business,” started his online lecture Adrian Slywotzky, a partner at Oliver Wyman. “After some time everything has changed and business design has moved forward: if your business model was effective, you were on a roll. A new challenge appeared some years ago: how to master the art of demand? And the masters in this sphere occupied the markets. However, 3–4 years ago it became evident that business design and the art of demand are necessary, but not enough to keep the leading positions now. Nowadays the best companies use asymmetric methods of running a business.”

Adrian Slywotzky, a business futurologist, has studied hundreds of start-ups and found the key to their success: an asymmetric competition model and 8 levers. All the best players on the global market (with no exceptions) use the following 8 levers: great scale problems, ability to make mistakes in both timely and correct manner, speed, thrift, access, algorithms, magnetism, and story. You can find more details on those in his book “David Wins”.

The author of the course said that he started working on the asymmetric model approximately 3 years ago and it is built on the best practices of the best world start-ups.

“One year ago the asymmetric model was a highly costly tool. However, nowadays, in the period of crisis, using all the 8 levers (thrift, scale, search for the allies, ability to experience failures with minimum loss, to create algorithms and look for the digital solutions in order to act more quickly and accurately, etc.) is not a choice, but a necessity for us all,” emphasizes the business thinker.

What we considered unique yesterday (for example, the asymmetric approaches of Alibaba, Space X and Netflix) is badly necessary for us today!

So, ask yourselves: 

  1. What presumptions do we operate and do they limit us?
  2. How can we achieve a super thrift?
  3. How can we build a community out of our customers and suppliers?
  4. How can we integrate the asymmetric model, as one year ago it was a source of benefit, but now it is a vital necessity?

Adrian Slywotzky advised the participants of the course to do the following exercise, “We live in the time of limitations, which may last for a year, two, or even longer. Think what other business approaches can you apply taking into account the new conditions? Because when life returns to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of people will make a terrific mistake — they will retain the same behavior they had before the crisis and the quarantine. I ask you not to make this mistake, but to use the pandemic to build both mental model and thought pattern, which will give you an opportunity to survive now and have a competitive advantage after the pandemic.”

“Let the study of asymmetric approaches lay the foundation for changes, in which you will be not just the course participants/graduates, but the change champions. Share this knowledge with your friends and colleagues, because the asymmetric competition methods are applicable to various aspects of our lives,” added Adrian Slywotzky.

The business thinker once again encouraged the listeners to study English. “The English language + Google = Access to the world wisdom,” he says. “One of the biggest obstacles for our economic development is the lack of English language knowledge. So, set the goal to improve your English until January 2022!”

Here are some exercises offered by the business futurologist:

  • Think in English.
  • Listen in English.
  • Speak in English (regardless of how difficult it may be, you can never improve it without constantly making efforts).
  • Read in English with a dictionary. “I know myself how difficult it is to keep a good level and active vocabulary because I constantly work on my Ukrainian. But it is possible.
  • Write in English (to write a one-page-essay each week, e. g. an article review, and find an editor).

Roksoliana Voronovska, the Head of LvBS Consulting and Business Design Center, worked with Adrian Slywotzky on the original course program and they constantly make some improvements into it. She shares her thoughts based on the results of the third intake, “Team learning is a great key to success (especially with online courses) and we receive lots of feedback from the teams, which proves it.”

This course is special, because Adrian Slywotzky delivers two online lectures (in the middle and at the end of the course), answers the participants’ questions, and gives feedback for each course intake.

“It gives tremendous inspiration. He persistently works with us to find a key to the online learning success; therefore, he explains a lot how responsible everyone is for the results,” adds Roksoliana Voronovska.

Since the beginning of the quarantine Adrian Slywotzky has been constantly encouraging everyone to become an active manager of one’s own studies, “The managers of their own studies enter the classroom already knowing what they want to learn and seek the applied knowledge. Their aim is the set of exact actions and the implementation of positive changes in the world. Their motto is “studies multiplied by the result”. The following type of education is the best preparation for youth for entrepreneurship. So, the choice is yours: you enter the classroom or the online course as if you enter a cafe, where the most important question is what shall we order, i. e. what are you going to teach me today? Or you enter it 110 % prepared, know what you want to ask, have expectations, and understand what the final result is.”

Roksoliana Voronovska adds that LvBS had started preparing for the online course launching before the quarantine, but the beginnings of the two overlapped, “Our aim was to provide the maximum quantity of people and organizations with the opportunity to take the course because the asymmetric thinking technique is available to everyone; therefore, we are happy that the representatives of small and medium business, civic sector, young people, who would like to launch a start-up, as well as large companies, which are on the market for some years, have taken part in this course.”

Among the positive aspects, she also mentions that LvBS has already received a request from the company, the authorities of which have taken the online course, to run the same course for its 130 employees, “So, we are preparing for them a special corporative intake based on the original course by Adrian Slywotzky.”

Adrian Slywotzky is a business futurologist and one of the most prominent modern management specialists. He belongs to the top 25 business consultants in the world and consults Fortune 500 companies, among which are Nike, Hyundai, and Samsung. Owing to the LvBS original online course on the Prometheus education platform Ukrainian entrepreneurs got access to the leading world practices and the relevant knowledge: how to grow during a crisis, what the power of asymmetric competitors is and how to develop an effective anti-crisis strategy for your business or project together with your team.